ENTERPRISING Zimbabweans continue to shine in the continent’s Book Of Fame, with three Zimbabweans making it on the final list of 100 most influential Africans as rated by the London-based New Africa Magazine.
In the list of the top 100, made up of people from business, churches, politics, sports and other areas, Nigeria leads the way as the country which has the highest number of influential figures, taking up 23% of the list.
It is followed by South Africa, taking up 22% of the list.
Novelist NoViolet Bulawayo, media entrepreneur Trevor Ncube and Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa appear on the list.
Ncube is the chairman of Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of NewsDay, Southern Eye, Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard.
Ncube yesterday said:
“I think what keeps me on fire is my conviction that things can get better. Waking up in the morning, the enormity of the question, ‘How do we do this? excites me to stay on the cutting edge of enabling Africa to talk to itself.”
He added: “Enabling Africa to tell its own story and convincing the world that we are not second-rate citizens, but we are world-class.”
There are 32 women on the list, with the youngest being Nigerian girl Zuriel Oduwole, aged only 11.
In a statement, New Africa said Oduwole had made waves across the continent in the fight for women’s education, and competently interviewing eight African heads of State apart from launching a mentorship programme for girls, to name, but a fraction of her many achievements at a tender age.
Oldest on the list is 76-year-old Edna Adan, former Somaliland Foreign minister and pioneer for women’s rights and women’s health, as director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital and an activist in the struggle for the abolition of female circumcision.
Also included are some of the wealthiest men and women on the continent, such as Nigerian Aliko Dangote, South African Johann Rupert and Angolan Isabel dos Santos.
There are only three Heads of State on the list, including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Gabonese President Ali Bongo and Joyce Banda of Malawi.
South African Democratic Alliance leader Lindize Mazibuko, Nigerian prophet Temitope Bolugun Joshua popularly known as TB Joshua, and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Also on the list is South African President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu. Zulu was part of SA’s facilitation team that facilitated inter-party talks in Zimbabwe over the past five years.
Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema, SA’ public protector Thuli Madonsela, football stars Yaya Touré and Nigerian soccer coach Stephen Keshi, Zuma’s former wife Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, also make up the list.